Today, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, spoke with U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, during the second meeting of the High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Ambition.
During the meeting, Minister Wilkinson and Secretary Kerry took stock of each country’s progress toward increasing the scope and scale of climate action at home, their efforts to encourage other countries to do the same, as well as their shared progress in identifying and implementing bilateral climate cooperation opportunities over the last few months. In this context, both countries welcomed early progress made to date under the High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Ambition, reiterating their commitment to enhance their Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement by the U.S.‑led Climate Summit that will take place on April 22, 2021.
Minister Wilkinson underscored the importance of an aligned, enhanced ambition on methane reduction standards and transportation standards relating to fuel efficiency and the deployment of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), recognizing that this will enable both countries to increase their respective NDC ambitions. Minister Wilkinson reaffirmed Canada’s interest in taking a continental approach to addressing methane emission reductions from the oil and gas sector. The Minister proposed to build on the objective to reduce North American emissions by 40% by 2025-which Canada has continued to pursue over the last four years-toward the potential for a more aggressive 2030 policy reflecting recent statements by the International Energy Agency that countries should target a 75% emission reduction against forecast emissions. He also noted Canada and the United States’ commitment to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050 and the importance of aligned LDV and HDV standards – building on the progress that Canada has made with California in recent years in this area – and to implement a 100% ZEV sales target as soon as possible.
Both countries reaffirmed that climate action and job creation go hand-in-hand, and agreed that Canada and the U.S. are more aligned in this view and in their climate objectives than ever before. Recognizing that major economies around the world are aggressively embracing low-carbon solutions to attract more investment and create more good jobs for their citizens, the two countries agreed that continued bilateral collaboration will ensure North American workers and industries can attract their fair share of global investment in the increasingly competitive low-carbon world.
Minister Wilkinson and Secretary Kerry also reiterated the importance of other areas of work under the Climate Dialogue, including on adaptation, sustainable finance, nature‑based solutions, and smart agriculture. Minister Wilkinson identified the potential to align a Canadian and US Buy Clean approach to greening government, as a means to enhance climate change ambitions and trade opportunities.
Minister Wilkinson and Special Envoy Kerry emphasized that the Dialogue serves to align policies and approaches to create jobs, while tackling climate change and inequality, and enhancing adaptation and resilience to climate impacts. They agreed to continue working together with a view to concrete policy outcomes in advance of COP 26 following this month’s Earth Day Summit.